AATTV Hacking, William Francis (Billy)

John Robertson

Administrator
Staff member
  • SURNAME
Hacking
  • FORENAME
William Francis (Billy)
  • UNIT
Royal Australian Infantry
  • RANK
Sergeant
  • NUMBER
36448
  • DATE OF DEATH
1st June 1963
  • AGE
30
  • GRAVESITE
Springvale Botanical Cemetery, Greater Dandenong City, Victoria, Australia. Plot Simmons Lawn - Row DK Grave 1
  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
born 14.04.1933, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
son of Mrs A.Hacking
hometown Melbourne, Australia
accidentally killed 60k west of Hue,Thua Thien Province,South Vietnam
weapon snagged and discharged
1st Australian killed in Vietnam
 
Last edited by a moderator:

John J. Darling

New Member
Sgt. William Hacking was our platoon Sergeant during recruit training at Kapooka in 1962 (5 platoon, A Coy.). He was a thoroughly professional soldier who set very high standards for us (which was greatly to our benefit), as I recall he was also a veteran of the Korean War. The concept of him accidentally shooting himself was unbelievable to anyone who had served with him. I see that his rank is shown as Sergeant on this page, he was certainly a Sergeant in 1962, but I remember seeing a newspaper article at the time of his group departing Australia for Vietnam (with a group photo), and the article said that he had been promoted to WO2 prior to departure. Bill always stressed weapons safety and correct procedures when live firing was going on, so I can only say again that I believe that he did not accidentally shoot himself. There was some obvious effort by the Defence Dept. to cover up the true circumstances of his death at the time, so I'll guess we'll never know the true story.
 
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